Can I be honest with you all?
I have an unhealthy obsession with perfection.
Actually to clarify, I have an unhealthy habit of holding myself to a standard of perfection. Because honestly, it doesn’t really matter if everyone around me is somewhat imperfect; I expect myself to beat those odds.
So imagine my disappointment when this blog, my brainchild, my baby, was imperfectly pushed to the backburner. Slowly but surely, I missed post deadlines. my social media posts dwindled. I’d never get to edit that last podcast, all the while trying to keep up with the pace of the ever growing snowball we call the holidays. And the only one to blame was myself.
To be honest, after such a glorious start, I was embarrassed to answer all the questions about why I wasn’t writing or posting regularly. How could I explain that my perfect schedule, my perfect vision, was all held back by an imperfect me? I couldn’t. Instead, I ignored this space, push my goals further into the recesses of my mind, and threw myself into the things that had commandeered my time in the first place.
Let’s be real though, if you know me, you know I’m not perfect. *gasp*
No one is; I understand that…in theory. But there is still a big part of me that fears failure on the day to day. Being the internal perfectionist that I am for as long as I can remember, failure has never felt comfortable (not that it’s welcomed by the general population; I guess some of us have a particular aversion to it). It’s just not fun.
A few weeks ago, while trying to catch up with the onslaught of professional work, I decided to listen to an interview with an author I enjoy, Sue Monk Kidd. Her half-hour chat with Oprah was filled with so many stories of revelation and success, especially as a “late-start” writer. Yet the thing that struck me the most is Sue wrote 3 “failed” books over the course of 10 years before she published her NY Times best seller, “The Secret Life of Bees.” That may be comforting to some, but it immediately aggravated the perfectionist in me. “Ten years?!?!” I thought to myself as I listened intently. “I have to potentially fail for ten years before my dream can become a reality?!?”
Nevertheless, as I continued to listen to Sue’s experiences and the experiences she earned from her friend failure, my quickened heart began to calm and I resolved to hold on to this truth:
Failure is essential for life.
Not only that, but if I was to accomplish my vision for this blong, my book, my life, I too would have to become a friend of failure and learn how to recover well. Basically, fail often and fail quickly.
Hence this blog post.
This Christmas season, I’m giving myself a do-over. This is my round two. I’ve hit restart and you’re invited along for the journey. My hope is that in the coming years, I’ll become more comfortable with failing. I hope you’ll continue to read, encourage, question, make suggestions and stay engaged with the material I write. And most of all, my hope is that invisible weight I’ve place on my own shoulders to be a perfect writer would shatter into a million pieces.
So yeah…meet my new best friend, Failure.
What are you giving yourself this season? Leave a comment below!